Frustrated vandal silences noisy piano in New Brunswick town's square
SUSSEX, N.B. -- A New Brunswick man unhappy with a noisy outdoor piano in his local town square took matters into his own hands this week: He screwed the key cover shut.
The weatherized, brightly coloured piano was installed around July 1 at Leonard's Gate in Sussex, N.B.
Scott Hatcher, the town's chief administrative officer, had seen a similar piano while vacationing in Kelowna, B.C., and thought one would help Sussex's downtown revitalization efforts.
"What a great way to pass an hour," Hatcher said Thursday of what he saw on his western vacation. "I'd go out and get a coffee in the morning and just sit there and listen."
Hatcher said the Sussex piano caught on quickly with residents -- but that included some who tinkled the ivories after midnight.
"There are two nearby bars," Hatcher noted. "It's probably people on their way home from the bar who think they're Mozart or something."
The town received two noise complaints, both seemingly from a resident of a nearby apartment. And then on Monday, someone put two long screws into the cover, sealing it shut.
Hatcher said it's pretty obvious who is to blame. People saw the culprit do it, and he's discussed it on social media.
"The person who did it isn't really hiding it," said Hatcher.
Hatcher estimated local artists and a piano tuner put $5,000 worth of time and effort into refurbishing the piano, and the vandalism "kind of guts them."
But the town is not looking for a fight. Officials simply unscrewed the key cover, and have offered to install a lock on the piano and give the perpetrator the key.
Hatcher said the piano will be soon moved to another park anyway, once a hot-air balloon festival that attracts 30,000 people annually to Sussex is over.
"We're not trying to create a nuisance," Hatcher said.